Green Bay, Wis. In early November, the Los Angeles Rams were 7-1 and in the hunt for a bag in the first round of the playoffs. The team’s general manager, Les Snead, traded to star linebacker Von Miller after his release from the Cleveland Browns, building that momentum by signing wide receiver Odel Beckham Jr..
The Green Bay Packers have taken a more measured approach, although their quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, has often said that the team already wants to add more attacking weapons to the powerful list. Packers general manager Brian Goodgunst did not make significant interim additions despite a number of starters missing games due to injury or a positive test for Covid-19.
On Sunday, when NFC rivals faced Lambeau Field, the Packers ‘temperance overcame Rams’ win-at-all-spending strategy. In the rematch of their division round playoff game last season, the Packers beat the Rams again, this time, 36-28.
The Packers advanced 9-3, trailing the Arizona Cardinals (9-2), and for the best record in the NFC, the Rams lost three games in a row and fell to 7-4. Only the top finishers at each conference will receive a first-round pick, and if the teams end up with the same record due to their win against Arizona in Week 8, the Packers will have a tiebreaker over the Cardinals.
Playing in the freezing conditions, the Packers controlled the ball for most of the game and many Rams used the wrong actions to create an early lead that they never gave up. The Packers defense, who have conceded the fewest points at home in the league this season, blocked the Rams’ passing attack for much of the game.
Despite their fielding line-up, which included Rodgers with a broken toe, the Packers controlled the pace of the game. Rodgers flipped passes for receivers Davenport Adams, Marquez Valdes-Scandling and Randall Kobe, all of whom had long receptions to set the score. Cope was one of Rodgers’ most trusted goals in his first eight seasons with the Packers before being released ahead of the 2019 season. Rodgers persuaded the team to trade the slot receiver this July.
Adams, who has taken eight catches for 104 yards, said after the game that Rodgers did not let his injury affect his game. Rodgers said after the game, he stepped on his foot during the fourth quarter and suffered some pain in his injured toe.
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“On the one hand, you can see it bothers him in terms of body language,” Adams said. But, “he didn’t stop it.”
The Packers hit first after Matthew Stafford stumped the ball deep into the Rams ‘half in the Rams’ quarter. Rodgers’ Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsay advanced to the final zone to lift the Packers 7-0 at the end of the first quarter.
Then in the first half, Rodgers joined the file for 54 yards, which led to a Packers field goal.
Rodgers took 28 runs for 45 runs and crossed 307 yards and took two touchdowns.
Rams’ overpowering offense was very confusing for most of the game. In the hope that the game would not slip as quickly as he did in last year’s playoffs, Rams coach Sean McVeigh chose to run the ball from the Los Angeles 29-yard line into the fourth and 1st. Darrell Henderson, Jr., however, ran backwards and was stopped in the line of battle. The Packers kicked a field goal four games later.
However, the Rams have a powerful passing game, revealing when Stafford receiver Van Jefferson Jr. hit a 79-yard touchdown score in the second quarter. Rams took advantage of the Packers’ error, adding a field goal after Cope had scored on a ball recovered by Robert Rochelle.
Stafford took 21 runs for 38 runs and crossed 302 yards. He threw for three touchdowns and one interception.
But Rodgers, the most valuable player in the league, looked comfortable in every game, usually throwing in double coverage. In the second quarter, he found Adams on the sidelines to complete the 43-yard line. Two games later, he threw a 7-yard touchdown down to the file, pushing the Packers’ lead to 20-10.
Halfway through, Stafford hit Henderson in the touchdown with a 6-yard pass, shortening the score to 20-17, a record considering that the Packers had the ball twice as long as the Rams.
The Packers used the same formula in the second half. Rodgers attacked Waltz-Scandling for a 28-yard gain, then joined Josiah Teguerra in the tight end for a 12-yard finish below fourth. Running back AJ Dillon caught a 5-yard touchdown pass and finished the 13-play drive, which was used more than half in the third quarter.
The Packers did not reach the game with two minutes left in the third quarter, when cornerback Rasool Douglas Rams jumped in front of Cooper Gupta and chased Stafford. Douglas ran untouched in the final zone for 33 yards.
“Once I got the ball, I thought about getting a Lambio leap,” Douglas said, referring to the tradition of Packers players jumping into the crowd after a score. “We’ve a great team when it comes to turnover. We feed it.
For all their advertising, Rams’ big-name acquisitions did not have the big impact Snead had hoped for. Beckham scored 10 runs Once, he caught five balls for 81 yards, including a 54-yard touchdown.
Miller finished with five tackles.
Jabs, 37, of Rodgers, continues to act like a star quarterback in responding to aggressive aid, conflicts with the Packers front office and his annoying comments about the Govt-19 vaccine. His production was less than his fastest pace last season, but Rodgers has thrown 23 touchdown passes for four interceptions and set a fifth-highest quarterback rating in his 17-year career.
“It was a tough situation for all of us, but I think we’m feeling better now,” Packers captain Mark Murphy said before the game. “He’s obviously playing at a high level, and he’s a great leader for our team.”